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Mission to preserve Sheffield war hero’s grave

The grave after work was carried out to tidy it up

The grave after work was carried out to tidy it up

 

Future generations will be able to learn about the bravery of a Sheffield war hero thanks to three kind-hearted men.

Friends Graham White, David Garnham and Alan Watson, from Millhouses, have spent months tidying up the grave of Sergeant Arnold Loosemore in All Saints Parish Church in Ecclesall.

And now they plan to install three plaques, donated by Brass Founders of Sheffield, pointing visitors from the church door to the grave.

Sgt Loosemore won the Victoria Cross for bravery during World War One after he single-handedly killed more than 20 German soldiers to save his platoon.

He was a 21-year-old private in August 1917 when his platoon was held up by heavy machine gun fire during an attack on a German position near Ypres, Belgium.

Immediately afterwards his Lewis gun was blown up by a bomb and three enemy rushed for him – but he shot them all with his revolver.

Later, he shot several enemy snipers, exposing himself to heavy fire, and brought back a wounded comrade.

In 1918, he was awarded of a Distinguished Conduct Medal for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty at Zillebeke, Belgium.

Dr White said he spent two days trying to find the grave of Sgt Loosemore after discovering he lived close by.

He said: “I couldn’t find it because it was rather anonymous and covered in grass. He is buried in a grave with four others and it took two days to find it.

“I discussed it with my friends and decided that if we could get permission from the church we would put it into a state where people could see it.

“We wanted to put it in good order. We started last year and have been out come rain or shine.”

Dr White contacted Brass Founders of Sheffield to enquire about them making some finger signage to go in the church yard.

He added: “When they discovered it was for a VC grave they said they wanted to do something more substantial and have made these wonderful plaques.

“We hope that all people, especially young people, will get to know the sacrifices made by this amazing man.”

 

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